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Private Employees worry as Pay Hike for Public Servants Sparks Inflation Concerns

With the proposed pay hike for public servants, private employees are worried that they would be at the receiving end of a possible inflation that could ensue if the Pay Revision Bill is endorsed. They said that the government needs to come up with policies and interventions to keep inflation at bay.

Private employees BBS talked to said that they are worried that if the market forces follow the usual trend of fueling the prices of goods and services after the pay hike, the cost of living would dramatically become unaffordable for them. They also said that there are no initiatives from the government to improve their living standard following the usual pay revisions for the public servants.

‘‘As private employees like us do not have a pay hike, we are worried that the price of commodities and house rent might increase. Therefore, we request our government to monitor the market situation well for the sake of private employees,’’ Muku, a private employee said.

Another private employee Nima Tshering said, ‘‘whether it is government or private employees, we have to consume the same commodities in the market. The price of food and vegetables might increase after the pay revision along with house rent. Therefore, we would be grateful if the government could come up with the policies and measures to support the private sector as well.’’

The Finance Minister Namgay Tshering says the government will make sure that the pay revision will not have an affect on house rents. Moreover, he said inflation in price of commodities is very unlikely.

“To ensure that the house owners are adhering to the provisions, we have the Tenancy Act. On the commodity price, especially on food commodities, I have come to know that because of the sheer number of the people engaged in these trading activities, I think there is very steep competition among the traders among the retail shop, for that matter it is not that evident that with the increase in salary will lead to soaring of the food commodity prices and the rental charges.”

He added that that the government has been working on measures and policies to promote the private sector and take care of the welfare of private employees.

“This is not a welfare scheme given to the individual civil servant but rather we are trying to promote the meritocracy in the service. So for the private sector, I would say that there are many policy measures for instance one policy measure that we already have in place is for the corporate income taxpayers for the private corporate agencies we are giving 100 percent tax deductible on the salary and wages being paid to the employees. For the business income tax filers, we are giving a certain degree of deductibles based on the range of the salaries being paid to them. On top of that for the businesses to tide over these difficult times we have enacted a fiscal incentive act back in 2021 to add to the growth of the businesses.

The Sixth Pay Commission has recommended a revision of 55 to 74 per cent of the minimum pay scale across all position levels in the civil service. This is to review the pay and allowances of public servants and propose a revision to meet the rising cost of living.

Karma Wangdi

Edited by Kipchu